Pete has already blogged this immediately below but it is really very interesting and I will put my own analysis on it. Paisley has welcomed Mr Ahern to Ballymena. His wife was confronted by Ruby Gillespie the wife of former DUP member Roy Gillespie, both of whom had been long term Paisley supporters and possibly even family friends. The similarities between what Paisley is now doing and what Terrance ONeill did regarding Sean Lemasss visit all those years ago are striking. The fact that it did not snow is possibly fortunate lest snowballs had made a reoccurrence.Whilst greeting a PM of a neighbouring state might be a bit of a non event; it is slightly odd with the Dromore by election just around the corner for Paisley to be willing to welcome the Taoiseach so publicly. It certainly handed Jim Allister a pretty easy opportunity to attack the DUP. If the DUP triumph in Dromore then Paisley will seem vindicated as he will be seen to have dismissed the TUV challenge as irrelevant and have been correct. Indeed one could make parallels with the way Tony Blair at times appeared to go out of his way to annoy traditional Labour supporters. This is, however, a somewhat high risk strategy and if the TUV do well let alone win this election the timing of events like this could be seen as poor. Better might have been to dismiss the TUV but equally not hand them sticks to beat the DUP with at this time. Although as I have said before it is important for all sides (and I particularly mean the TUV) not to see the Dromore by election as a hugely significant event; it is a single council by election.
This author has not written a biography and will not be writing one.